Low sound from headphones and no sound from microphone when

I am using Audacity 2.1.1 on a windows 7 desktop computer. I obtained the .exe installer from the on line download. Also I am using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface. Using instrument input port for guitar and the Line port for a Shure SM58 microphone. This has been working great coupled with Audacity. The quality has been outstanding.

Moving on to my next project. I am trying to overdub another track for backup vocal. In Audacity I have the Line in set for (Scarlett 2i2). I have in the recording channels (2 Stereo). In the line Out I have (Scarlett 2i2). After I have recorded a test tack of the song this is when things fall apart. On the Scarlett 2i2 I have the guitar in the (instrument port), the Shure SM58 in the (line) port and I have a rather inexpensive set of Logitech headphones plugged into the input port on the front of the Scarlett 2i2 for the headphones. When I test the set up by playing back the track, the guitar sounds as it should through the headphone but the vocal volume is about half of what it should be. Also I am not getting any sound from the microphone to the headset. I have searched high and low for a resolution to this dilemma to no avail. HELP!!

Reading between the lines of the instructions (I hate it when they do that), the 2i2 has built-in mixing for the live performance and the computer playback. Switch Direct Monitor on to get both sounds in your headphones for overdubbing/sound-on-sound.

Does the existing track playback sound OK if you play it to the computer headphone or speaker system, not the 2i2?

If your first track is damaged, it would be good to know that before you go tearing the system apart looking for something broken. Another possibility is export the original track as a high-quality MP3 and play it in your Personal Music Player. Does it sound OK?


Line port for a Shure SM58 microphone

It’s not clear from the labels, but that’s not exactly what you did.

When you connect a 3-pin XLR microphone like the Shure SM58 to a 2i2, that connection automatically switches to a highly sensitive microphone connection. It’s really Mic-In, not Line-In or Inst-in even though it doesn’t say so. Unplug the microphone and the connection reverts to the switch setting.

If you really did plug an SM58 into a real line connection, it wouldn’t do anything. Those two connections are very badly mismatched.

One other oddity. The 2i2 is not a sound mixer. Anything you plug into the left connection is going to appear as “Left” in the stereo connection. Full Stop. It’s not optional. The right-hand connection will always be “Right.” You need to turn that into a mixed show in your software to get something musical. That may be one of the problems you’re having. A raw performance sound capture is not going to sound normal at all when you play it from the timeline.

This may be where the 2i2 software leaps to your rescue. I don’t know.


Thank you for your response.

I have tried switching the direct monitoring to both on and off. The only difference is the guitar seems a little louder on one than the other through the headphones.

Yes the sound is as it should be through the computer sound system and through the computer headphone jack.

I have saved the track to my computer. It is playing back just fine. I opened the track and it works fine. I opened the saved Audacity project file into Audacity and it works fine.

In rethinking all of this a light came on in my head. Earlier today I downloaded the new 2.1.1. Audacity program. I was using an older version and was having the same problems with it. I thought perhaps the new 2.1.1 would solve them. Could I have acquired an issue in doing so? Should I start by redoing the download?

Thank you so much.

I plugged the headphones into the computer to listen to the track and did the backup recording into Audacity through the Shure SM58 through 2i2 and it works.

What you have said made a lot of sense. It got me on the right track. I HOPE!

You have made this old man’s day much brighter. You are a gentleman and a scholar!

Thank You Again

The Focusrite 2i2 doesn’t come with software (except some VST plugins I believe) since it has no routing, mixing or other stuff to set. It doesn’t need a driver because it is USB audio class compliant.

Also, the only difference between mic and line inputs is the gain setting. Physically, even a line signal passes through the mic preamp. Not ideal, but it’s like that on most budget interfaces. At gain “zero”, there’s only 6 dB gain from input to output, I think. At full gain, there’s 56 dB of gain.

This also means that the instrument input can be overloaded by a high output pickup on the guitar of an enthusiast player. That can be easily fixed with an attenuator before the 2i2.

I have tried switching the direct monitoring to both on and off. The only difference is the guitar seems a little louder on one than the other through the headphones.

Do that again with Audacity off. You may be listening to one of the Audacity sound settings in addition to the direct guitar. That will give you a 6dB boost which sounds like what you had. Without Audacity, the switch should make the guitar come and go in the 2i2 headphones .